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45 Old-School Recipes That Deserve a Comeback

It's fun to try new recipes, but sometimes you can't beat a time-tested classic. These retro recipes for dinners, appetizers, salads and desserts might seem like a blast from the past, but they still hold up today.

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Grandma’s Chicken ‘n’ Dumpling Soup

I’ve enjoyed making this rich homemade dumpling recipe for over 40 years. Every time I serve it, I remember my southern grandma, who was very special to me and was known as an outstanding cook. —Paulette Balda, Prophetstown, Illinois

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Pinwheel Steak Potpie

On cool nights, nothing hits the spot like a steaming homemade potpie—especially one you can get on the table fast. The pinwheel crust on top has become my signature. —Kristin Shaw, Castleton, New York
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Mom's Chicken Tetrazzini

Rotisserie chicken turns this baked spaghetti into a warm, cozy meal our family craves. If we have leftover turkey, we use that, too. —Jennifer Petrino, Newnan, Georgia
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Apricot Fluff

When we were young mothers, I asked my best friend if she had a recipe for an easy ambrosia salad that I could take to a cookout later that evening. She shared this recipe with me and it's become a must-have at every barbecue I attend. It's sublime with peaches and peach gelatin, too. —Melissa Meinke, Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania
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Cream of Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

A dear friend brought me some of this soup when I was ill—and it instantly hit the spot. I asked her for the recipe and I've made it several times since, especially when I have leftover turkey to use up. Now I like to take it to friends when they're not feeling well. It's just the filling meal to warm you up on a cold, wintry day! —Doris Cox, New Freedom, Pennsylvania
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Grandma's Rosemary Dinner Rolls

My grandma (I called her Baba) made these in her coal oven. How she regulated the temperature is beyond me! She always made extra rolls for the neighbors to bake in their own ovens. My mom and aunts would deliver the formed rolls at lunchtime. —Charlotte Hendershot, Hudson, Pennsylvania
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Green Bean Casserole

This easy green bean casserole has always been one of my favorite dishes. You can make it before any guests arrive and refrigerate it until it’s ready to bake. —Anna Baker, Blaine, Washington
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Steamed Carrot Pudding

This recipe, passed down from my Canadian grandmother, has been in my family for at least three generations. It's been a favorite wintertime dessert for us and is always served for Easter and other holiday meals. —Ann Searcey, Kettering, Ohio
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Chicken Cordon Bleu

The addition of bacon in this cordon bleu recipe makes it one of my favorite comforting recipes. I've made it for both friends and family, and everyone's a fan. —Jim Wick, Orlando, Florida
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Homemade Apple Cider Beef Stew

Homemade Apple Cider Beef Stew

It's especially nice to use this recipe in fall, when the weather gets crisp and the local apple orchards start selling fresh apple cider. This entree's subtle sweetness is a welcome change from other savory stews. We enjoy it with biscuits and slices of apple and cheddar cheese. —Joyce Glaesemann, Lincoln, Nebraska
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Grandma's Rice Dish

My grandmother often made rice dishes when I was young. I forgot about this casserole until I found myself one day adding the same ingredients to leftover rice. The memories came flooding back, and I've made this recipe regularly since then. —Lorna Moore, Glendora, California
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Sugar Cream Pie

I absolutely love Indiana sugar cream pie; especially the one that my grandma made for me. Here, we serve it warm or chilled and call it "Hoosier" sugar cream pie. —Laura Kipper, Westfield, Indiana
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Chicken Noodle Casserole

Everyone who tries this comforting, cheesy chicken and noodle casserole asks for the recipe. It's so simple to make that sometimes I feel like I'm cheating! —Kay Pederson, Yellville, Arkansas
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Grandma's Tomato Soup

This recipe is my grandmother’s. Originally, Gram even made the tomato juice in it from scratch! Gram had this soup cooking on the stove every time I visited her. She enjoyed making this tomato soup and other favorite dishes for family and friends, and she made everything with love. —Gerri Sysun, Narragansett, Rhode Island
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Corn Pudding

Cornbread mix and canned corn make this southern corn pudding casserole a snap to prepare. Now this is real comfort food! —P. Lauren Fay-Neri, Syracuse, New York
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Crisp Waldorf Salad

This crunchy salad is a perfect side to accompany a heavy meal. With it's light and crisp flavors, it'll be the hit of the party.—Susan R Falk, Eastpointe, Michigan
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Basic Homemade Bread

Basic Homemade Bread

If you'd like to learn how to bake bread, here's a wonderful place to start. This easy white bread recipe bakes up deliciously golden brown. There's nothing like the homemade aroma wafting through my kitchen as it bakes. —Sandra Anderson, New York, New York
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Winter Vegetable Shepherd's Pie

We seem to eat for comfort during the holidays...but comfort foods aren't necessarily healthy. To make a classic comfort food dish more healthy, I came up with this lovely take: turkey shepherd's pie. It's perfect for putting out on your holiday buffet table. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Best-Ever Meat Loaf

The combination of onion, carrots, parsley and cheese—plus the tomato-mustard topping—makes this meat loaf really colorful. The recipe lends itself easily to being doubled or halved to suit the number you're cooking for, and it freezes well, too. It's the best meatloaf ever! —Anna Baker, Blaine, Washington
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Classic Beef Stew

This easy beef stew recipe is my favorite. The rich beef gravy helps the hearty flavor of the potatoes and carrots to come through. It's the perfect homemade dish for a blustery winter day. —Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
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Contest-Winning Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

While this special chicken and wild rice casserole is perfect for a company dinner, it's so good that I often make it for everyday family meals. We think it is very nice served with some crusty rolls or French bread. —Elizabeth Tokariuk, Lethbridge, Alberta
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Three-Cheese Fondue

I got this easy recipe from my daughter, who lives in France. It’s become my go-to fondue, and I make it often for our family.—Betty A. Mangas, Toledo, Ohio
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Tenderloin Steak Diane

Sometimes, I add more mushrooms to this recipe when my son's eating dinner—he loves them, and they are just fantastic with the steak. — Carolyn Turner, Reno, Nevada
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Oysters Rockefeller

My husband and I are oyster farmers, and this classic Oysters Rockefeller dish always delights our guests. It's deliciously simple! —Beth Walton, Eastham, Massachusetts
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Old-World Puff Pancake

My mom told me her mother-in-law showed her how to make this dish, which became popular during the Depression, on their "get acquainted" visit in 1927. At that time, cooks measured ingredients in pinches, dashes and dibs. But through the years, accurate amounts were noted. My wife and I continue to enjoy this dish today, particularly for brunch. —Auton Miller, Piney Flats, Tennessee
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Crown Roast of Pork with Mushroom Dressing

It looks so elegant that everyone thinks I spent a lot of time on this roast. But it's actually so easy! The biggest challenge is to remember to order the crown roast from the meat department ahead of time. —Betty Claycomb, Alverton, Pennsylvania
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Italian Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini

I've always had to be creative when getting my family to eat vegetables, so I decided to make stuffed zucchini using the pizza flavors that everyone loves. It worked! We like to include sausage for a main dish but it could be a meatless side dish, too. —Donna Marie Ryan, Topsfield, Massachusetts
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Creamed Spinach & Pearl Onions

When I was a culinary student, this creamy dish wowed me, and I don't even like spinach. This side is a keeper! —Chelsea Puchel, Pickens, South Carolina
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Ultimate Pot Roast

Dutch oven pot roast recipes are the ultimate comfort food. When juicy pot roast simmers in garlic, onions and veggies, everyone comes running to ask, "When can we eat?" The answer? Just wait—it will be worth it. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Slow-Cooked Chicken a la King

When I know I'll be having a busy day with little time for cooking, I prepare this tasty main dish. Brimming with tender chicken and colorful vegetables, it smells so good while cooking. —Eleanor Mielke, Snohomish, Washington
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Ambrosia Fruit Salad

My mom's ambrosia salad, with its tasty combination of fresh fruits and creamy yogurt, is a family favorite, and a great addition to a backyard barbecue. —Colleen Belbey, Warwick, Rhode Island
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Classic Beef Wellingtons

Perfect for holidays, this beef Wellington recipe is also impressively easy. Find ready-made puff pastry sheets in the frozen food section. —Kerry Dingwall, Ponte Vedra, Florida
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Pork Chops 'n' Pierogi

The Polish dumplings are traditionally served as a meal, with applesauce or sour cream. This meal in one is a different way to use pierogi. —Greta Igl, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
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Creamy Celery Beef Stroganoff

Cream of celery soup adds richness to a recipe that has become a family favorite. It’s so simple to prepare and, oh, that flavor! —Kim Wallace, Dennison, Ohio
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German Red Cabbage

Sunday afternoons were a time for family gatherings when I was a kid. While the uncles played cards, the aunts made treats such as this traditional German red cabbage recipe. —Jeannette Heim, Dunlap, Tennessee
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Potato Clam Chowder

I ran across this recipe in one of my antique cookbooks. It's a timeless classic I like to prepare for friends and family throughout the year, but especially during the holidays. —Betty Ann Morgan, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
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De-Lightful Tuna Casserole

This mild, homemade tuna casserole will truly satisfy your family's craving for comfort food without all the fat! —Colleen Willey, Hamburg, New York
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Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

A wedge salad gets the creamy treatment when topped with blue cheese dressing. Keep the dressing as a topper, or make it a dip for Buffalo wings. —Jenn Smith, East Providence, Rhode Island
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Favorite Sloppy Joes

I've prepared these sandwiches for years. I've tried many sloppy joe recipes, but this one is the best by far. It also travels well for picnics or potlucks. —Eleanor Mielke, Snohomish, Washington
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Porcupine Meatballs

These well-seasoned porcupine meatballs in a rich tomato sauce are one of my mom's best main dishes. I used to love this meal when I was growing up. I made it at home for our children, and now my daughters make it for their families. —Darlis Wilfer, West Bend, Wisconsin
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Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Casserole

People who don’t even usually like broccoli casserole beg me to make this comforting broccoli cheese casserole recipe. It's similar to a classic green bean casserole, but the melted cheese just puts it over the top. —Elaine Hubbard, Pocono Lake, Pennsylvania
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Cabbage and Beef Soup

When I was a little girl, I helped my parents work the fields of their small farm. Lunchtime was always a treat when Mother picked fresh vegetables from the garden and simmered them in her big soup pot. We loved making this delicious recipe. —Ethel Ledbetter, Canton, North Carolina
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Grandma's Pea Soup

My grandma's pea soup recipe was a family favorite. What makes it different from any other pea soups I have tried is the addition of whole peas, spaetzle-like "dumplings" and sausage. Try it once and you'll be hooked. —Carole Talcott, Dahinda, Illinois
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Mom's Swedish Meatballs

Mom fixed this Swedish meatball recipe for all sorts of family dinners, potluck suppers and PTA meetings. The scent of browning meat is intoxicating. Add to that the sweet smell of onions caramelizing, and everyone’s mouth starts watering. —Marybeth Mank, Mesquite, Texas
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Salisbury Steak Deluxe

This recipe is so good that I truly enjoy sharing it with others. I've always liked Salisbury steak, but I had to search a long time to find a recipe this tasty. It's handy, too because it can be prepared ahead, kept in the refrigerator and warmed up later. —Denise Barteet, Shreveport, Louisiana

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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